Just like every year, the consultants of ITQ get the opportunity to visit VMworld and like the past few years, the upcoming edition will take place in Barcelona in the Fira Gran Via conference center.

The 2016 edition was my first one to attend and to me personally it was an overwhelming experience. Besides all the good sessions, you get to spend time with your fellow colleagues and have the chance to meet up with new people on one of the many events organized around the conference. Also. it’s possible to just go and spend time at vendor booths to see what new technologies they got to offer or you visit the VMware stand and have a chat with support guys / product owners etcetera.

Last year was all about increasing my knowledge on topics that I was dealing with a lot at that time. Since I was studying for my VCAP-NV exam, I visited quite some NSX related sessions. In that same period, I was working at a customer with some vSAN related challenges as well, so I went to various vSAN sessions as well (the “big” ones are very good, but I found out that the sessions with a smaller audience where much more interactive and I gathered a lot of useful information there as well).

Because of that, I started to put together an action plan for this year’s edition. I am going to try and make a better mixture of sessions about topics which I am already familiar with, and sessions granting me the possibility to have a glance at something (completely) new.

Being part of the SDDC team, I will mostly focus on sessions within this area of expertise, but I will also try to schedule about 20% of the sessions outside my area of expertise. Below are 10 sessions I will visit:

  1. What’s New with Containers on SDDC

For a lot of people I talk to, containerization is the next level after virtualization. The title is self-explanatory and I want to attend this session for some increased global knowledge of containers.

2.Fundamentals of VMware Cloud Foundation

I have been hearing a lot about VMware Cloud Foundation but I have never been able to dive deeper into the concept. Hoping to get a good understanding about the concept and have a close look at common use cases.

  1. vSAN Troubleshooting Deep Dive

Coming from a storage oriented role at my previous employer, storage remains an area of interest for me.  Last year, I have been working with some customers at some vSAN related issues and worked with support to solve those issues. Hopefully this session will give me some insight in what’s going on “under water” with VMware vSAN.

  1. vRealize Operations – Advanced Topics

During my last few assignments I have been involved in utilizing vRealize Operations quite a lot. Starting from using standard views and dashboards to creating custom dashboards making visible that what the customers want and need to be aware of.

  1. VMware Site Recovery Manager: Technical Walkthrough

It has been a while since I have been working with Site Recovery Manager (Version 4.x) and a lot has changed since then. Time to go and bring my knowledge regarding this topic up to date.

  1. VMware NSX – Challenge Lab

Since I still am a technical guy, I always love some hands-on experience and VMworld offers techies just what they need in the form of guided hands on labs. I will use this lab to see if my skill-level is still ok or that I might need to schedule some NSX time in my home lab..

  1. Automating NSX with vRealize Automation (vRA) and vRealize Orchestrator (vRO)

Automation and Orchestration is an area of expertise where I feel I am still lacking some skill. To be able to learn more on this subject is nice, to be able to directly combine it with automation of NSX is even better!

  1. AWS Native Services Integration with VMware Cloud on AWS: Technical Deep Dive

VMware on AWS is something we have been talking a lot about since last year’s announcement. Personally speaking I am not too familiar with AWS’ native services so this gives me a good opportunity to learn more about it.

  1. Designing Multilayered Security in the Software-Defined Data Center Using VMware vSphere 6.5.0a and VMware NSX 6.3

Like mentioned earlier in the list, security is a hot topic. Lately I have mainly been active on the operational side of things and I would definitely like to get involved during the earlier phases.

  1. Extreme Performance Series: Monster VM Database Performance

This session I visit for the customer I am currently working at. They have some huge VM’s running all kind of DB’s and services. Any tips and tricks I can get during this session which I could use and implement for my customer will be of great value.

10 + 1. PowerCLI 201: Getting More Out of vSphere PowerCLI

Last year I have been doing a lot with PowerCLI and obviously the use of scripts to make an admin’s life easier is of great use to any customer. I will be attending this session to get my skill set to the next level. This session is actually number 10 + 1 but I believe that the use of scripting is still underestimated I a lot of places so that’s my reason for adding it to the tail of the list anyway

Above list shows a pretty large spread across multiple disciplines. As I mainly have been using the “core” products from the SDDC portfolio lately, I wanted to put some focus on the products on top of those like Monitoring, Orchestration and Automation as I believe that’s where the magic will happen in the next years.

Just a bit over a month to go and I can’t wait!

Vincent van Vierzen Virtualization Consultant

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